March 2019: The Mayor's View

February 26 2019

I'm proud that in Bristol we're making homes happen

I was pleased to meet with Housing Minister Kit Malthouse MP this month along with representatives of neighbouring authorities and the Metro Mayor Tim Bowles. We used the opportunity to demonstrate the collaborative work under way in the region to build homes and communities.
I first met Kit when we were both on the Politics Live programme last year. I was able to ask him to visit Bristol and see what we are doing to deliver the homes we need, in line with my pledge to build 2,000 homes a year, 800 affordable, by next year. On the day-long visit, we discussed the progress we are making on our region’s Joint Spatial Plan – our planning document setting out our delivery of 105,000 new homes across the city region by 2036. The plan also sets out supporting transport infrastructure we will need to make sure these new homes don’t contribute further to the congestion we know is already such a problem.
We also used the opportunity to highlight our bid to the government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund. If successful, this investment would be used to unlock development in the area around Temple Meads station, reinvigorating this gateway to the city and meaning jobs and homes are positioned in the most sustainable and accessible places.
A high point of the visit was watching some of the ongoing demolition of the old Sorting Office. This eyesore next to the station has been a blight on the landscape for too long. I was delighted to start its demolition, which means a new chapter for the Temple Quarter. It will also deliver the entrance the city deserves, regenerating the area with thousands of new homes and jobs. I was pleased the Minister could see the potential for the site, which as well as creating a new university campus will unlock new routes to the station and open up vital links between East Bristol and the centre.
As well as sites in Bath and South Gloucestershire, the Minister was shown the Elderberry Walk and Glencoyne Square developments in Bristol. Both demonstrate our commitment to affordable housing and mixed communities.
After decades punching below our weight, Bristol and the region is gaining the reputation with government that it can deliver and work together to get things done. Following this, I was honoured to be asked to speak and present an award at the Homes England Staff Awards.  This was a great opportunity to represent Bristol to the government agency tasked with ‘Making Homes Happen’. I am pleased Bristol is making homes happen too.